By Rob Mason on April 1, 2012
Today is Nasuni’s 3rd anniversary. Three years ago, six of us opened the doors here in Natick for the first time with a fresh $8M round and a vision to change the storage industry. The six of us are all still here, but we’ve been joined by a small army of colleagues that share our vision and passion. The last three years have been exciting, challenging, frustrating, frightening—in a nutshell, the typical startup experience.
Companies do not make markets without a great leap forward in technology and the will to tune their strategy based on an honest assessment of what isn’t working. When our customers asked for an SLA, we assumed full responsibility for the cloud component of our storage system. When customers asked for a more predictable way to budget, we switched our pricing to yearly contracts based on usable storage only. When it became clear we couldn’t scale the business alone, we shifted to selling 100% through partners and enlisted some of the best infrastructure VARs to help accelerate the transition to storage services.
While companies must change what they do in order to thrive, the culture of a company is a different thing altogether. It guides every decision and it remains constant through even the most drastic changes.
Nasuni is a culture of doing the right thing. This means doing the right thing for our employees, the right thing for our investors, the right thing for our customers and partners. Nasuni is not about a quick flip where a few people make all the money and the rest are out of luck. Nasuni is about building a lasting company that changes the storage industry forever. We’re not the kind of startup with funky art on purple walls, foosball tables, ping pong tables, large movie screens, etc. Our office decor has often been described as battleship grey. The pictures on our walls are of people working with customers, our communal screens show the dashboards of our network operations, and though we do consume soda and popcorn, it’s while working on the toughest problems in the storage industry. We get things done.
Last year, we grew customer storage under management almost tenfold. More than a thousand Nasuni Filers have been downloaded or shipped in hardware. We have processed almost five thousand support cases, filed four thousand bugs, and written over six hundred thousand lines of code. There are countless others soft metrics: miles travelled in middle seats, customer meetings held, market making slides created, contentious blog posts written, press interviews given, in-depth lab reports generated.
Thanks to the efforts of our employees and the courage of early adopters—the real heroes of any technology innovation—we are creating a great company, well along the path to changing the storage industry forever. Yes, 2012 will bring its own challenges: aggressive sales targets, organizational challenges, fund raising, and the never-ending stream of features, support requests and bugs. But we’re experienced, seasoned, and we get things done. We say, bring it on.
Andres & Rob
Rob Mason has more than 20 years of operational, management and software development experience, all of it in storage. A meticulous builder and obsessive tester, with an eye for talented engineers, Rob produces rock-solid software, and, through his own example of hard work and ingenuity, inspires his teams to outdo themselves. His determination for thoroughness extends to financial and operational matters, and at Nasuni, he is a powerhouse behind the scenes, managing the company’s operations, in addition to its engineering team. As the VP of Engineering at Archivas from 2004 to acquisition, Rob oversaw all development and quality assurance. After the Hitachi acquisition, he continued in his role, as VP of HCAP Engineering, managing the integration of his team with Hitachi’s and supporting the rollout of HCAP. Before joining Archivas, he was a senior manager at storage giant EMC, where he was responsible for the API, support applications and partner development for EMC’s content-addressed storage product, Centera. In a previous stint at EMC, he was Manager and Principal Design Engineer for the elite Symmetrix Group, where he improved the speed and reliability of EMC’s flagship enterprise storage disk array. Between Centera and Symmetrix, Rob was the co-founder and VP of engineering at I/O Integrity, a storage-based startup developing a high-performance caching appliance. He has a bachelor of science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a master’s in business administration with honors from Rutgers University. Rob holds upwards of 30 patents.